Silva Bay on Gabriola was our first destination out of Howe Sound. This involved crossing the Georgia Straight from Vancouver to the Southern Gulf Islands. There was only one way to see if we were up to it …
We took our good friend, a much more experienced sailor, with us. He seemed so calm–and kept saying, “this is completely normal,” in a tone that I knew it was true.
After a night at Silva Bay, we went on our own to Pirate’s Cove on DeCourcy Island, a lovely marine park established since 1966! Lots of trails for walking amid a lovely setting.
Our Catalina 30 at rest, stern tied and anchored in Pirate’s Cove.
I wish i had a wider angled lens to fit the fantastic angle from the water line … but I wasn’t about to jump back into the water just to get the picture as my camera isn’t even water resistant let alone proof. Would go back to Pirate’s Cove in a heartbeat.
One of the things that I always enjoyed about our camping trips was the challenge to make meals with as little sand as possible, and as much flavour and nutrition as possible. Those meals over a single burner camp stove, with the light grit of shell and sand, are gladly gone when I can dip into my cooled ice-box for fresh veggies, fruit and meat. Can’t say we miss the sand.
After a night at Pirate’s Cove, we ended our long weekend away with a trip back across the straight. With steady NW winds from 10 – 15 knots and clear skies, we couldn’t have asked for better … Okay we could have, the chop grew throughout the day to a full 2m, and the wind grew to 18, topping out at 22 as we rounded Point Grey into English Bay, but just as quickly diminished to 15-17. Only in the bay did the waves cool down to a ripple. It was an intense and fantastic ride across the straight. It pushed our skills and comfort. More waves under our keel …
What you can’t see here is the whites of my knuckles gripped around the wheel as we surfed the waves. Every seventh wave seemed to be a biggie. I thought that we had a max hull speed of 6.5(ish) knots). And yet we were up to 7 – topping at 7.2 (albeit it briefly). We kept an average speed of about 6.4, or there about, with a beam reach, slowing to high fives in a broad reach as we headed into town.
The Sky was so clear that we could see Mt. Baker in the distance behind Vancouver.